Truth and the Present Administration

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 22 February 2006 0 Comments
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My dear friend of 25 years is a fundamentalist
Christian who has prayed about my position on the gay
rights issue (I am a gay rights advocate). Her
position is that if God had made her a gay person, she
would still not be free to indulge in sex. Also, if
everybody got to do whatever made them happy, then
where do we draw the line? She has challenged me to
go to God and basically ask God which one of us is
right. As a member of the church alumni, I really
don't know what to say to her. Complicating matters
is the fact that my son is gay but she doesn't know
that yet. Can you help?


I waste little time engaging in arguments about
homosexuality. That enterprise is generally nothing
more than an ill-informed emotional debate. My
recommendation to you is that you say, "I simply do
not agree with you and I see nothing further to be
gained by future conversation on this subject." If
your friend is not willing to observe that boundary
then your only choice is to move out of that

For the record, the fundamentalist Christian position
assumes that sexual orientation is a choice. There is
not a shred of evidence to support that. You do not
go to God to determine truth. You go to the commonly
accepted knowledge that is available to you in the
fields of science and medicine. My bet is that by
"going to God," she means consulting the Bible, which
was quoted to condemn Galileo and Darwin and to
support slavery and a second-class citizenship for
women. That is not a very impressive set of
credentials. If we followed the Bible, we would put
all homosexuals to death (see Lev. 20).

If you told her your son is gay, she would assume
that he chose this way of life or that you were the
cause of his "deviation" by being an inadequate
parent. Either way you lose.

My advice is to love your friend. Be kind and
sensitive but on this issue simply tell her you do not
wish to discuss it further since your two
understandings are mutually exclusive.

John Shelby Spong

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